The MERA Investigation
WHAT: An innovative, beach water quality investigation that considers human behavior, water quality, and human health
WHY: To improve beach management and protect public health in Costa Rica, other tropical regions, and throughout the world
WHO: Scientists from Southern Methodist University, the University of South Florida, and Biological Consulting Services, INC. work in collaboration with Costa Rican institutions, Universities, and non-governmental, non-profit organizations
WHERE: A beach along the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica
WHEN: January 2017 through December 2022, on-site research during 2017-2019
MERA is an investigation with real-world implications
During this innovative investigation, water quality will be measured as well as the behaviors that could affect beach recreator health. Aspects of human health will be quantified and assessed from cultural, economic, and biological perspectives, and subsequently used to recommend societal changes that promote the well-being of human health and the sustainability of coastal ecosystems. This innovative investigation will advance local management practices as well as our global achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Furthermore, it is the first of its kind in a tropical setting. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to the conservation of planetary health.